Many moms often wonder whether they can continue breastfeeding their baby when they get sick and worry about its safety.  Many of them are worries about passing on their infection to the baby through the breastmilk and it is completely normal for you to feel so, considering how much you love your baby and want him to stay away from harm’s way. But the important thing here to know is that you can continue nursing the baby even when you are sick as it will always benefit him.

Mother breastfeeding baby

Let’s get to know some more information about breastfeeding when the mom is sick:

  • Breastfeeding when you are sick is allowed because there are very few diseases or infections that may require a mother to stop nursing completely.
  • What happens is that since most illnesses are caused due to the action of viruses on your body, your baby has already been exposed to these viruses even before you realize you are sick.  He may therefore already have developed symptoms like rash, runny nose, diarrhea and fever etc. and by continuing breastfeeding; you will provide him with the antibodies which will protect him.
  • When you are sick, remember to have a lot of fluids as this will prevent you from being dehydrated and being dehydrated may mean lesser milk production.  Remember that the milk production gets back to normal once you are feeling better.
  • Even if you are suffering from food poisoning, you can continue breastfeeding your baby. As long as the symptoms are confined to the gastrointestinal tract, breastfeeding is concerned safe but if the food poisoning tends to advance to the level of septicemia, you must stop breastfeeding as this means that the infection has passed onto your bloodstream.
  • Even though it is mostly safe to breastfeed your baby while you are sick, it is advisable to reduce the symptoms by washing your hands regularly, limiting face to face contact with your baby and also avoiding sneezing or coughing anywhere near the baby.

Some Cases When a Mother Should Stop Breastfeeding her Baby

The following are some of the diseases or infections; on the occurrence of which you must stop breastfeeding your baby as the risk of passing on the disease to the baby through your breastmilk is high:

  • If a mother is infected with HIV then she must not breastfeed her baby as this virus can be passed onto the baby through the breastmilk.
  • Active tuberculosis is another disease in the case of which the mother must stop breastfeeding her baby.

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